Monday, January 16, 2012

The Link between Gluten and Eczema

Lately I've been trying to get the kids to eat a more "Paleo" way. To start with, I haven't eliminated all the grain in their diets, but I have decided to make them gluten free.

I've been gluten free for a while now. I decided to try it a few years ago when I was having trouble with my gut. It started when a natropath suggested I give up wheat. I did, and I felt a whole lot better. But I still had irritable bowel symptoms from time to time. I read somewhere that all gluten could be an irritant to the bowel, so gave it all up. I felt so much better, and lost some weight, so decided to stick to it.

However, though the IBS symptoms were almost all gone, I still had other problems: aching joints, lower back pain, dermatitis on my hands (much improved, but still there), carpel tunnel syndrome, and the nagging extra weight that I shouldn't be carrying, despite hours at the gym (before Charlie's pregnancy, I've not ventured back since).

Since cutting out all grain, I'm feeling even better. No more occasional bowel symptoms, no more bloating or windiness (this was really helped by giving up sugar), much improved dermatitis, hardly noticing the carpel tunnel or joint pain. And the weight is slipping away without too much effort (I'm certainly not starving myself, and love that I can eat fat. Yay!)

What I'm really pleased about, is the improvement in Charlie's eczema. It has really improved since I've put him on a gluten free diet. He isn't scratching nearly as much, and his skin is looking so much better. He is still eating dairy, but it isn't very much (no more cereal and milk in the mornings), and when he has a glass of milk in the morning, I add a teaspoon of beneficial bacteria, which I hope will help improve his gut, which may have been damaged from gluten. You can read about the link between gluten and eczema at Mark's Daily Apple.

I'm really enjoying learning so much about health and nutrition since getting interested in the Primal/Paleo way. It's such an eye opener, and it is so amazing that what we've been taught, our whole lives, just isn't true. Whole grains aren't that great for humans, and animal fats are really good for us. It takes a bit of getting used to - I still have pangs of guilt for eating fats and butter, but I'm still loving it!

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